Once upon a time, journalists were discouraged from mentioning genitalia in print. If you wanted to do so, you needed a compelling reason, and about 300 editors had to sign off on it. Meetings would be held. Layers of bureaucracy would be invoked. Style manuals would be wielded.
Then one day near the end of the 20th century, a woman named Lorena Bobbitt took up a knife, and there was no way to describe which part of her husband she went after without using the word “penis.” And so writers began to use it. Penis, penis, penis!